Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Black Cat Bar & Cafe

Black Cat Bar & Cafe
Black Cat Bar & Cafe

Location: 10056 Main, Penngrove, California, USA

Opened: October 2002

Closed: Fall 2010

Here's how the Black Cat described herself at

The Black Cat Bar & Café opened its doors in October 2002. We are lesbian owned and operated, queer friendly, freak friendly and straight/ not narrow friendly. Our dress code is a smile and our theme is respect for all. Our goal is to provide a space for folks to have fun, and to create a caring and tolerant community.
One of Black Cat's friendly bartenders
Some of the cool/crazy stuff we do here is Tuesday night Strange Movie night on our big screen, Wednesday night Open mic, Thursday night Karaoke, Friday night live music, Saturday night DJ dance nights, charity clothing auctions, theme parties- Damn, we could go on and on!

The Black Cat Cafe certainly sounds like it was something more than your typical pool-and-karaoke lesbian bar. Definitely the kind of off-beat place I wish I could have visited. But what's with all those bras hanging from the ceiling?!? Here is some of the passionate customer praise from

June 2007: oh dear i miss those sumer sunday nights where i would go here with a few friends and we would be basically the only people in the bar. i adore this place.  i know they have live music and it gets pretty busy and lively some nights, but i think this place is best experienced on a slow night with a small group of friends.  pretty good jukebox, not pricey at all. yes bras eeeeeeverywhere. nice bartenders! this place has such character, and is super friendly and comfortable. i miss it!

July 2007: I've been to every gay bay in San Francisco and most arent half as much fun as this hole in the wall way over yonder in Penngrove (North Bay)....Everybody was dancing, drinking, having a good old gay old time when...everybody kept dancing drinking and having a good time.  There's no "then there was a fight" or some "redneck came in" or "some cokehead tied up the bathroom".  It's just an old fashioned good time at a nice joint with a best of the 90's soundtrack.  If I lived in Sonoma, id be there every day.  Next time I go to the north bay, ill visit for sure.  And while the bar is predominately lady, I had a good comfortable time with my date (for the night).

December 2007: Yes, it's a lesbian bar, but it's so much more than that.  It's one of those bars that you feel comfortable at.  Where it doesn't matter who you are or what you're wearing, everyone who works and drinks there is accepting and really awesome.  They have one of the best open mics in Sonoma county every wednesday night.  If you perform, you get a can of Hams for 50 cents.  Honestly, they serve hams and have bras hanging from the ceiling.  Why are you not drinking there right now?

August 2008: A couple people have already mentioned that The Black Cat has a magic and mystery that is all its own. Its hard to put your finger on just what it is. Maybe its the fact that on any given night you can walk in and see a cowboy in a ten gallon hat talking to a lesbian with a "dykes on bikes" t-shirt on. Maybe its the underwear and brassieres that are hanging in all manner from the ceiling.  Maybe its the awesome drink deals on random shots like snakebites and cans of Hamm's. All of these forces come together to give this bar its own character. Definitely hit it up with some friends and have a blast.

September 2008: Funny that the best bar in Sonoma County is a "lesbian bar" in the eerie backwoods on a dark and shadowly little street in a town that may or may not exist.

December 2008: Not only are the owners and workers of this little gem a delight but the prices are good, the place is clean and the people that frequent it are super nice. They have a good energy in the place and go out of their way to provide a fun, comfortable place to party and also encourage safe partying.
ALSO, their new restaurant that is connected Humble Pie is AWESOME. They have nummie treats like home made tater totes!
This is the regular stomping ground for my sister and her friends so I go occasionally and join in on their fun. I love this place and love the ladies who own it. Being a "lesbian" bar has no affect on those who decide to go party here, you can party here and be treated equally regardless of your sexual preference, age, gender or other distinguishing characters or your person.

April 2009: Bras decorate the ceiling in this small cozy place where all kinds of people converge (unlike other bars).  It can get crowded depending on the event.  They have good 'ol Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap.  Good service and great wide selection on the juke box.

May 2009: Great little spot for a cocktail !  Wine needs improving.  But we'll forgive that for friendly upbeat bar maidens!   Great hangout spot.   Love the bras hanging from the ceiling - especially the ones which are autographed or have funny things written on them - CLEVER !!!   And love the black cat figurines in honor of Toto the cat the bar is named for.  purr purr purr

June 2009: This is a great place.  Every time I visit home I have to stop at the Black Cat.  It is one of my favorite small bars.  The bartenders are awesome, the people are nice, and the decor is fantastic.  There are bands on the weekend and everyone is so damn friendly.  Step outside for a smoke and enjoy the beautiful night sky and landscape.  This is a must visit bar if you're in the area.

October 2009: And so it was scribed, there would be but one Bar to enjoy the swilling of godly nectars. Here, it was written, that the resting place of Prometheus' fire would be protected and celebrated for many eons. Sojourners would come and go, heeding on the command of the daily ebb and flow; yet, when the sun hid its cowardly face, and the freakish night began its howl, the pilgrimage of the enlightened freaks commences: a journey to the sacred pub.
Arise ye freaks! take up your oddities as sabers. Embrace your aberrations and move swiftly - to the Black Cat we ride, on ghoulish clouds we soar!
Thug love to the Black Cat

November 2009: Fucking awesome.  A bra-decorated lesbian dive bar next to a Pie-ery!  What could be better?

Black Cat's famous bra-covered ceiling
 January 2010: Penngrove is the straightalkin' ,scruffy pinky finger of Petaluma, if this bar is any indication. Bras on the ceiling, worn-through linolium, live metal played with gusto, cookies on the counter, the sentiment in the air seeming to be that this was as good a place as any to have a beer after a long day.

And then in August 2010, it was announced that the Black Cat would be shutting its doors for good in the next 3-4 weeks. Why? No explanation. Maybe somebody strangled on one of those "nearly 200" bras hanging from the ceiling???

Photo of Black Cate Cafe exterior, One of the Black Cat's famously friendly bartenders, the Black Cat's famous bra-covered ceiling 

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